Friday, June 22, 2018

Feminism : Feminist LiteraryTheory


To put it simply, Feminism refers to a general pro-active political stance in all fields of social or cultural life, demanding gender equality or protesting against exploitation of the female sex. The basic premise on which feminism is based is that in most societies, past and present, men have appropriated all the power they need to themselves, thus dominating every sphere of life, marginalizing and exploiting, even silencing women. Feminist theory or thought, quite obviously, theories about this stance. The Feminism might involve the Nitty-gritty of how such gender discrimination operates and on what grounds it can be fought.

Feminist criticism

Feminist criticism looks at a text from the feminist point of view. It was Beginning with Aristotle, who had said that the female is female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities, women writers and readers have had to contend with such influential misogynist prejudice prevalent in different ages. Feminist criticism invariably has to read against the grain. Instead of acquiescing to such patriarchal representation of the "inferior" sex in various texts, feminist criticism interrogates them. Also, it has tried to resurrect many women writers who had been ignored in the male dominated canon. Gerard Manley Hopkins, not many years before Virginia Woolf talked about "a room of one's own", equated the penis with the pen. That is, he made it abundantly clear that writing was a male domain. Though A Room of One 's Own (1929), Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) changed all this through her own writing and advocacy, the importance of Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindications of the Rights of Women (1792) before her, and Simone de Beauvoir, (The Second Sex, 1949), The Second Sex (1949) afterwards, have played crucial roles in the history of feminism.

Feminist Literary Criticism

Feminist literary criticism has been of many kinds. But generally speaking, it has often been prescriptive, sometimes descriptive and often indulging in angry ranting. But invariably the purpose has been the same: it has a common political position.

Feminist criticism went through three phases of development. In the 1970s, critical attention was focused on texts by male writers that constructed influential but typical images of women - this was the 'combative' phase (this term used by P. Barry).
In the 1980s Feminist criticism began to turn towards other kinds of criticism/interpretation (e.g. - Marxist, structuralist, linguistic etc.). It also began exploring the nature of the female world, female experience and re-establishing the canon influential writing by women. Elaine Showalter describes the shifts of focus as from 'androtexts' (books by men) to 'gynotexts' (books by women). Showalter's contribution also extends to the three phase in women's writing.
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The phases of Feminist Criticism

  • Feminine phase (1840-80) – This phase of Feminism emulation whereby female writers imitated the male writer techniques and sense of aesthetics.
  • Feminist phase (1880-1920) - Defiant phase wherein distinct, radical positions were maintained An Introduction
  • Female phase (1920 on wards) – This Phase of acceptance where female writing and experience is explored.
The methods have been various and have derived liberally from psychoanalysis, Marxism, and Derridean deconstruction. There have also been schools such as the radical French Feminists, Afro-American, American or the British versions. Many radical feminists champion the cause of lesbianism, and are therefore called lesbian feminists. In the block on Feminism you will read about "gynocriticism" and many other new feminist concepts.

Feminist movement

Mainly the Feminism leads with the Feminist Movement and It refers to continues series of so many political and social campaigns against the domestic violence, maternity leave, and equal pay for work, sexual harassment and violence. These campaigns was being called the feminist movement.  At first it was started from the western world but as renaissance it spreads in the whole world.  It was divided into three waves. Feminism in china started from 20th century when Chinese Revolution (1911) take place.
First Wave – this wave of Feminism is getting around with middle and upper class women being suffering and facing the political unequality. The period occupies the early 19n century
Second Wave -  In this wave the women was not only limited as in first wave there is only white women, in this wave other countries women was actively participating, this was occupies the whole 20th century.

Third Wave – It exposed the financial, cultural and social inequalities from which women were suffering. Covers the late 20th century
Fourth wave – It was mainly begun around 2012 mainly highlighted by the social media, women was standing against the sexual harassment and violence, in this movement highly uses of social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube  highlighted.

In Feminism, The Feminist movement had affected the religion and beliefs, like in Protestant Christianity women were not being given the equal opportunities. 
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